Innovation Coalition Calls on President Biden to Implement the International Entrepreneur Rule

February 5, 2021

Contact: Cassie Ann Kiggen
Phone: 202-864-5923

WASHINGTON, DC – A coalition of 16 organizations representing the U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship, and startup ecosystems sent a letter today to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro N. Majorkas asking him to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). IER, originally put in place at the end of the Obama Administration, would work similar to a Startup Visa by allowing world-class foreign entrepreneurs to launch high-growth companies in the United States by utilizing the parole authority of DHS.

“Immigrant entrepreneurs have made incredible contributions to the U.S. economy, including by founding both companies with an approved COVID-19 vaccine – Moderna and Pfizer,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “If properly implemented, the International Entrepreneur Rule would have tremendous economic benefits for American workers by supporting the formation of new high-growth, job-creating businesses here in the United States.”

The Trump Administration repeatedly sought to remove IER and block implementation before the program launched, thereby costing the United States jobs and innovation that are needed for our country to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Trump Administration published a delay rule to push the effective date to March 2018. However, in National Venture Capital Association v. Duke, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that DHS violated administrative law with its delay order, thereby allowing immigrant entrepreneurs to apply for the program. In May 2018, DHS proposed eliminating IER. NVCA rallied industry associations, startup founders, and investors to submit comments to demonstrate the importance of IER. Fortunately, the Trump Administration did not issue a final rule removing IER before its term ended. Accordingly, NVCA and its coalition partners are strongly encouraging the Biden Administration to withdraw the proposed removal rule and fully implement IER as it is set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations.

The organizations joining NVCA on the letter are: the American Immigration Council; BIO; Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE); Economic Innovation Group; Engine; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;; Information Technology Industry Council (ITI); Internet Association; Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA); National Immigration Forum; New American Economy; Niskanen Center; SSTI; and TechNet.

You can read the full coalition letter here.


About National Venture Capital Association

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers the next generation of American companies that will fuel the economy of tomorrow. As the voice of the US venture capital and startup community, NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. Serving the venture community as the preeminent trade association, NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. For more information about NVCA, please visit